(The Philippine Star)
MANILA, Philippines – The top honchos of Asia Pacific’s retail industry paid a courtesy call to President Aquino on September 9 at Malacaňang as part of the preparation for the Philippines’s hosting of the 17th Asia Pacific Retail Conference and Exhibition (APRCE) 2015, the grandest, the most important and the most anticipated retail industry event in the region slated on Oct. 28 to 30, 2015 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.
The delegation that met with Aquino included top officials and representatives of the member nations of the Federation of Asia Pacific Retailers Association (FAPRA) led by its chairman Mehmet T. Nane.
They were the Philippine Retailers Association, Turkish Council of Shopping Centers & Retailers, Singapore Retailers Association, Australian Retailers Association, Japan Retailers Association, Malaysia Retailers Association, Korea Retailers Association, Association of Vietnam Retailers, New Zealand Retailers Association, Indonesian Retail Merchants Association, China General Chamber of Commerce, and Thailand Retailers Association.
The grand convention and exhibition is organized by FAPRA, the regional organization of the recognized national retail associations in the 17 member countries in Asia Pacific, namely Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, India, Mongolia, Fiji, and Turkey.
The PRA, the “Pulse and Voice of the Philippine Retail Industry” is the country’s recognized organization of retailers and suppliers to the retail industry which include SM Shoemart, Robinsons, Ayala, Bench, Mercury Drug, Penshoppe, Automatic Centre, Shopwise, Rustan’s, National Bookstore, Celine Group, Wilcon Builders Depot, Sportshouse, Toby’s Sports, among others.
The heads of delegations also toured SMX Convention Center Manila, which will be the venue of the conference and exhibition, which is seen to attract over 3,000 retailers from Asia and the rest of the world.
This is just the second time that the Philippines will serve as host of the biennial event. The country first hosted the APRCE in 1993 through the efforts of industry stalwarts Samie Lim, now the chairman emeritus of the Philippine Retailers Association (PRA), and vice chair Ma. Alegria “Bing” Sibal- Limjoco.
“The Philippine retail industry and the domestic economy as a whole will benefit a lot from the country’s hosting of the APRCE 2015, which is why we really gave our best to convince the FAPRA leadership to bring the event here,” PRA president Lorenzo “Enchong” C. Formoso, COO of Duty Free Philippines, emphasized.